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Age is but a Number

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Being with a guy who is not your age can be difficult. I’m not talking about a relationship where he is 30 and she 27. I’m talking about the type of relationship where he is 22 and she 16.
I met Alex when, one summer, my brother brought him home from college because his parents were on their fifth honeymoon. When I first saw him I became immediately smitten. He is 5’10”, brown hair and green eyes and with the body of a soccer player.
“Hi I’m Alex” he announced with that deep voice of his.
“Um…” was my genius reply.
“Um, I’m Elizabeth, but everyone calls me Liz.”
“Liz, I like it, but I think I’ll call you Lizzie” I just about melted.
“Ha! Sorry buddy, but you’re out of luck. She hates that nickname.” The nuisance, Trevor, my brother, said.
“Not anymore. He can call me Lizzie if he wants to.” He gave me a beautiful smile in return.

We really didn’t talk again until a week later. Trevor had gotten really sick with the stomach flu and he tended to whine a lot when he got sick, so I was sitting on the front porch swing of our two story suburban house reading a book.
“Hey Lizzie, what are you reading?” Alex asked me. He didn’t really like Trevor’s whining either.
“Pride and Prejudice” I told him.
“You like Jane Austen? Do you like any other classics?”
And that’s how it started. All week long he would always hang out with me. We talked about anything and everything. He told me about the time he broke his leg playing soccer and I told him how Trevor always took my Barbie’s so he could marry them to his action figures. And, even after Trevor got better, he would always talk to me. And then, it happened.
It was July 14, a Tuesday and it was 1:09 a.m. Alex and I were in my room talking. We always did this. During the day he would always hang out with Trevor and I would hang out with my friends, but at night he would always come into my room and we would talk until really late.
“Have you ever had a boyfriend, Lizzie?”
“No” I answered shyly.
“Have you ever been kissed?”
“No” I was blushing now.

Without warning I felt the pressure of his lips on mine. At first I froze, but then I started to mold my lips to his. After a while the kiss started to get heated and I liked it, but I was out of my comfort zone. I thought I could handle it, until I felt his hand reach for the hem of my shirt. I stopped the kiss.

“What’s wrong?”
“I’m not ready.” I sounded like I had just run a marathon because I was pretty much panting.
He smiled and said: “It’s ok, we’ll wait a little while.” He got up to leave, but I stopped him.
“Alex, am I your girlfriend?”
“Of course” he told me patting my cheek, “but I think that we shouldn’t tell anyone because of our age difference, not even Trevor. They just wouldn’t understand.” I completely agreed with him.

Pretending we weren’t together was like a form of purgatory. Every time I saw him I just wanted to run into his arms and kiss him. Also, not being able to tell anyone was really hard too. Although I think that my mom always knew that something was going on.
“So, honey, how have you been? I feel like we haven’t talked in ages.” Mom told me one day in the kitchen, while I helped her cooked dinner.
I laughed: “Mom, we talked last night during dinner.”
“I know, but we haven’t talked just the two of us in such a long time. Is there anything knew you want to tell me.”
I hesitated for a second, but said: “No, just same old, same old.”
She looked disappointed, but it was gone at the next second. “Well you know I’m always here if you want to talk about anything.” After that I made sure to be more discreet, especially around my parents.

I learned a lot about Alex during our little 20 questions game we played. I learned that he has a sister named Christine, his favorite color is blue and his favorite sport is basketball. I learned that he thought that I was beautiful and while it made me feel happy for him to say that, I didn’t believe him. After all I was 5’0” red hair and brown eyes and a face full of freckles, I was nothing special.
I also learned that he was persistent and lost his temper easily.
“Why won’t you let me be with you?” he practically growled at me.
“I’m not ready.” I told him, close to tears.
“B******t! What are you waiting for?! I’ve gotten to know you and I told that I love you, what else do you want?!” he was p****d off now.
“I don’t know…” I told him meekly.

And it was true. I didn’t know what I wanted or what I was waiting for, the only thing I did know was that I didn’t want to be with him, like that.
After that day he didn’t come back to my room. Whenever I tried to talk to him he would walk in the opposite direction or give me an excuse of why he couldn’t at that moment. I was crushed, but I was determined to fix our relationship.

On the night before him and Trevor were due to leave I snuck into his room while he was showering. This was the night. Alex and I were finally going to do it. I still wasn’t ready, but it was what he wanted and I was prepared to give him anything at this point.

His cell phone rang while he was still in the shower. The screen said that Christine was calling. I answered it.
“Hello” I said.
“Who’s this?” the voice demanded.
“Liz, who is this?” I asked it back, even though I knew who it was because of the caller ID.
“Christine, Trevor’s girlfriend. Wait; did you say Liz, as in Elizabeth? Oh, Alex told me about you and the little crush you have on him. I think it’s so cute.” The voice practically cooed. I almost threw up.

I hung up the phone and ran out of the room.





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